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I write about heroes... so am I a hero? I would be if I had to be... honest! I once saved a cat from a tree - okay, it was a small tree, an apple tree in fact, but everyone knows size doesn't matter.
I've been a merchant seaman, and a salesman (I was hopeless), but mostly I've been a Business Analyst (but that doesn't make me a bad person).
Being a sparks (that's what they call Radio Ops...) was cool. I was on a cargo/passenger ship - a cargo ship with a dozen very wealthy passengers slumming it for a bit of adventure.
The good bit was that we (the officers - yep, I was an officer) got to dress up in white uniforms and eat really fancy dinners every night. That was every night for 6 months. I put on 28 pounds!
The really good thing was that the sparks goes off duty the moment the ship picks up the Pilot, whose job it is to steer the ship through dangerous waters or into harbour.
We went to the Far East (Singapore, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Burma, Indonesia... Far East then), and the Pilot was needed for the whole time we were there. So I was off duty for a month, and got to see all these places for free! Okay, got robbed in Hong Kong, but that was my fault for not paying attention - oh and got robbed in Manila, but he was armed with a really big gun, so that was okay.
I had to leave, because I was getting fat (I was 22 so fat is bad), and I was getting bored. How? You might ask, when I'm seeing all those places? Well, mostly I saw the ocean... for weeks at a time. 2 hours on watch; 2 hours off. All day, every day. No way.
Back home, I had to earn a living - as all the money-for-nothing slots had been taken by z-list celebs. I became a salesman. Why in God's name, I know not. I went through a one-year intensive training programme and was let loose, selling electronics to industry. I was absolutely useless at it - I couldn't handle any rejection, and wanted people to like me. Neither of which fit well with a sales role.
I ran away.
Without any planning, I fell into the IT industry, as a programmer, and I loved it. I wrote communications protocols in assembler. Now that probably means nothing to anyone, but it translates as programs written in machine code of 0's and 1's. Still, me vs. the machine was great.
I was quite good at it, or so it appears, as I was asked to teach in a training school. Which, since I'm a bit of quiet, introverted type, was a hell of a challenge.
It made me. I became confident and able to handle classes of 25 + students with fun and authority. A great time was had.
I then became a Business Analyst. Talking to everyone in a business to find out what works and what didn't, and then designing a system to a) Improve things, or b) screw everything up - depending on who you asked.
And now I'm a fiction writer. I've published 3 novels (and 3 Young Adult versions, because the young folk don't like 'relationships'), through Amazon Kindle and in Paperback. So that makes me a writer... right?
I wrote An Atheist in Eden first, and loved doing it. It was like watching a comic fantasy movie in my head. As the name implies, it's about a useless, no-hoper called to Heaven to help save it from invasion by Lucid's evil hordes of demons and monsters. Dylan is the Atheist, anarchist, layabout, and bum. Dylan versus thousands of killers. Great fun.
Update! Breaking news! (and all that hyperbole)... I have re-released An Atheist in Eden as Eden's Last Hero (because it has been completely re-edited and updated, so deserves a nice new name).
Then came Winterwood - part of the same Eden series as Dylan's tale, but this one is darker. Lucid comes to Earth intent on conquering it and enslaving everyone's soul to join his revolution in Heaven. The Flare is sent to stop him. Big title, but The Flare is an old black guy from Chicago, an angry Brit woman, and two kids. But there's a revolution in Heaven, so that's all Gabriel can spare.
A lot of good kids are killed in the battle. Sometimes funny, often sad, always scary as Hell.
My first thriller is A Whisper of Armageddon. Harry Thorne is a young Brit Marine sniper, injured in an IED attack. I hate those things; they're a coward's weapon.
When Harry is wounded in Afghanistan, his career as a Royal Marine sniper is over. But he is called on for one more mission. Valentin Tal, a Cold War Russian spy, and two snipers plan to kill the US President, the Prime Minister, and the German Chancellor in London.
While Harry battles the snipers over London's rooftops, he has no idea a Taliban terrorist is about to detonate a Russian bio-weapon over the West's financial centre.
Cross and double-cross, right up to the last page. People like it - which is a good thing...
And now? I'm almost ready to publish The Hellfire Legacy. An Ethan Gill Thriller. Someone is taking out senior US military leaders one by one, and Ethan is called back from retirement to track down and stop the assassins.
And Requiem for Eden - the 3rd comic fantasy in the Eden Stories Series.
Oh, I'm no longer overweight, but 40 years of martial of arts training will slim anyone down. I practiced Karate, Kung Fu, and Aikido. And fought in the UK Karate team (as infrequently as I could!) - until they retired me as a veteran at 30 -- that was a horrible feeling.
Surprisingly - since Karate was my No. 1 art, Aikido turned out to be best, because it means I can defend myself and those less able without hurting the assailant (although there's always a choice).
Oh, and I'm very happy - but who wouldn't be, writing about heroes?